The Soviet-era relic near Sevastopol will be used to protect Russia from rocket attacks launched from locations in the Middle East, including Turkey and Syria. Dnepr base will be equipped to intercept ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles at a range of around 2,000 miles. The vast complex has not been used for 10 years but fell back under the Kremlin’s control when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

According to a Russian defence source, increased activity of Nato ships in the Mediterranean has sped up the plans to restore the site. And a US-led missile defence system designed to protect Europe from Iranian and Russian rockets was switched on for the first time last week in Romania. Professor of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, Vadim Kozyulin, said it provided a “perimeter defence against missile attacks”. READ MORE